DEFINITION of 'Support Test'

One of five tests that must be passed in order to claim someone as a dependent. The Support Test mandates that the taxpayer must have provided more than half of the prospective dependent's living expenses during the year. Living expenses include meals, lodging, clothing and medical care and anything else that a parent would normally provide for a child or other dependent.

BREAKING DOWN 'Support Test'

The Support Test is closely related to the Relationship and Residence Tests, but the prospective dependent does not have to live with the taxpayer in order to pass this test. The Support Test is perhaps the most direct measure of whether a taxpayer should be able to claim someone as a dependent. After all, if the person is not financially dependent upon the taxpayer, then why should the taxpayer be able to claim his or her as a dependent?

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